Content marketing is about creating value-driven content and distributing it to a targeted audience with the goal of creating awareness, building loyalty and trust and influencing consumers to make a buying decision. Please take careful note of the words “value-driven” and “building loyalty and trust” because that is what makes the difference between a normal kind of marketing activity and content marketing.
The end goal is always creating value for your customers so that they trust you. If you are a marketer or a business owner wanting to get started with content marketing, improve brand awareness & search rankings, attract and nurture leads, here is the perfect place to get started.
OMNI-CHANNEL SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Ch.1: What is Content Marketing?
To understand it very simply, content marketing is about creating content that consistently answers and solves the queries/pain points of your target audience, thereby attracting them to your brand, earning their trust and finally pushing them down the sales funnel to convert them into a buyer.
Content marketing involves the creation and distribution of content assets like blogs, social media content, white papers, ebooks, website content, videos, emails, infographics etc, to build connections with prospective buyers and nurture existing buyers. It is different from traditional marketing since it’s not outbound (push) but inbound (pull).
Content marketing pulls the buyer towards the brand by consistently providing relevant and attractive content that he or she wants to read. When the buyer finds the brand solving most of her queries at every stage of the buyer journey, she finally decided to make a purchase decision.
Wanting to understand more? Check this out: The ABC of Content Marketing
Read the Article: What is the Buyer Journey Today and How to Incorporate Content into it?
Brands use content marketing to drive profitable customer action while acquiring higher SERP rankings and more traffic to your website. Consistent content marketing will allow your brand to establish a strong relationship with your customers and grow your brand without spending a penny (if you do it right).
But, content marketing isn’t just a flashy new buzzword used by the modern marketer. It has a century-old history.
Yes, that is right.
Ch.2: A Short History of Content Marketing
It was in the year 1732 (almost 300 years ago), when Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, published the first yearly version of Poor Richard’s Almanack.
While the almanack contained several important dates and statistical information of that era, it also sparked the beginning of content marketing.
Now go back to the picture above and focus on the second half of the picture:
“Printed and fold by FRANKLIN, at the New Printing Office near the Market.”
Through the almanack, Franklin advertised about his printing press. He did so to increase the footfall and orders at his printing press – which we call “traffic” and “conversions” in marketing (of course you knew that).
If you thought that was smart, let me tell you about Bookstore Librairie Galignani. In 1801, this bookstore created several strategies to grow their business. And out of all, one captures the essence of content marketing.
So, here’s what they did:
They printed a newspaper that featured articles on influential books from influential authors. These articles convinced bookworms to visit their store and read their chosen book peacefully in the reading room. These techniques inspired other businesses to implement their creative ideas to grow their business using content marketing.
Johnson & Johnson being the earliest of them all.
In 1888, they launched a publication called Modern Methods of Antiseptic Wound Treatment.
It educated doctors and pharmacists on sterile operative methods and how to perform a safe procedure. While the guide educated people, it marketed Johnson & Johnson and developed it into a trusted brand. Moreover, Modern Methods was a major success. It was distributed to over 85,000 doctors and pharmacists. Even today, Johnson & Johnson educates people all around the world. Although, the techniques are more advanced now. Such content marketing tactics inspired several other brands to follow suit and grow their business.
Now, it was time to name this technique.
After floating around nameless for centuries, in 1996 John F. Oppedahl used the phrase “content marketing” at the American Society for Newspaper Editors.
…and it stuck to become the most influential marketing technique.
But, is it still relevant? One word: Yes!
Do you want to know why content marketing still works? Check this great infographic: Why Content Marketing Works
Ch.3: Why Content Marketing is Important?
Why does content marketing matter to every businesses today more than ever? The reason is simple. Content marketing is about reaching out to the right target audience at a time when they want to know how to solve a particular problem.
Once the customer starts searching for more and considering all her options, content marketing helps create a level of trust with the customer by answering all the questions, offering proof of good service/product. As the customer starts getting closer to decision making, content marketing helps again by throwing in the right content that is required to seal the deal.
Here is a closer look at the reasons why content marketing is important for your business.
a. Pull marketing wins over push marketing by getting the buyer’s trust
Think of traditional marketing. It tells your target audience that your brand is great and they should buy from your brand. It is promotional, pushy and aggressive. There is no relationship with your client, there is no trust created.
Now consider content marketing.
It gives the buyer what he or she wants to know about, creates and shares valuable and RELEVANT information and pulls the reader to explore the brand, come back again and again, create a bond with the brand and ultimately trust it enough to make a purchase from it.
Trust is the only currency in any business. It is what makes a customer buy from you. You get trust, you get your customer. That is exactly what content marketing does. No wonder, content marketing gives 6 times more conversion rate than any other digital marketing method.
b. Improves Your Site’s SEO and Online Visibility
Here is a useful stat to consider.
If your company regularly blogs, your website will have an average of 434% more indexed page than those websites that do not. You can get more traffic if you publish more quality content and content marketers have seen a 7.8x year-on-year growth in website traffic.
Humans and search engines love high-quality content. Google positions high-quality content in the top SERPs, and humans engage with it and share it. This improves the Click Through Rate (CTR) and session duration of your post. A high CTR and longer session duration signals Google that people find the information available on your URL to be useful; thus, your SERP position increases. Not just that, you will start ranking for more relevant keywords.
That massively improves the SEO and online visibility of your brand.
Find out more about: Google’s Search Quality Raters: Here is What They Say About High-Quality Pages and Content
c. Generates more sales qualified leads that have a much higher chance of conversion
Let us get one thing straight. Qualified traffic and leads are what you finally want from your marketing campaign. And that is exactly what content marketing gives you.
It moves your visitors through the following stages –
- Awareness Stage (where he discovers the brand),
- Exploration Stage (where he will start searching for more solutions to his main pain point)
- Consideration/Evaluation Stage (where starts considering his options and narrowing down on his choices)
- Purchase Stage (where he finally makes the decision to buy).
At every stage, the visitor is presented with different content formats that serves his search intent. At every stage, he is interacting with your brand and understanding what you can offer him, how are you better than others, and how you can solve his pain point.
As buyers continue to self-navigate through their purchasing journey, the need for early- and mid-stage content is high. They’re relying on a mix of long form thought leadership content such as white papers (57%) and E-books (54%), as well as shorter formats such as infographics (55%) and blog posts (54%) in the early stages.
– Demand Gen Report 2021
Hence, by the time, he reaches the final stages of the buyer journey, he already knows your brand, and has a high intent of purchase.
This is why, the conversion ratio of leads generated through content marketing is a lot higher. He already has a purchase intent, he has interacted with your brand, he has evaluated your brand against others, and has made a decision that he can buy from you. Hence the scales are heavily tilted towards your side.
d. Content marketing is cheaper than paid advertising and gives better ROI in the long run
Considering paid advertising to content marketing? Here is why you should not.
- ● It is much more expensive and you have to keep paying to stay up there. This can drain your resources quickly, especially if you are in a competitive field and you are a small business.
- On the other hand, content marketing can work on a much lesser budget (you can even create content yourself to minimise costs) and will give you a much better return with time and effort. As your content starts ranking in Google, your traffic starts flowing in and you do not lose that traffic the minute someone pays higher than you to Google. In a way, you ran naturally and for free.
- ● Content marketing is going generate a higher number of quality leads, which means there will be more conversions. This is important for maximising ROI and getting more revenue. There is no point paying for leads that are poor quality.
- ● In the long-run, its content marketing that works. It is a simple model that works and is sustainable. PPC in most cases is always a short-term strategy. For eg, a single piece of quality content that you create can continue to fetch you results for a long time. Here is a look at our blog on “40 Awesome Brand Taglines that Will Stick to Your Brain for Good!” which has been consistently driving traffic to our website.
- ● People trust organic results more than they trust ads. Consumers feels that Google’s organic search results are more likely to show the right and relevant results than ads.
e. Buyers are Hungry for Content that Solves their Queries
The old ways where we applied push techniques are a thing of the past. It doesn’t work anymore! People are aware now, and pushing them will only be a turn-off. Internet users are spending 20% of their online time reading content or watching content. Hubspot reported that almost 51% of people spend time researching products on Google before investing, making quality content an end game!
Plus, did we forget the Google algorithm?
It ranks content on websites based on Expertise, Authority and Trust. If you have these credentials, you are most likely to catch the eye of your audience.
f. Domain Authority is linked to Content
Your website’s domain authority is a score that shows how credible your website is against others. The higher your score (in a scale of 1-100), the higher will be your site’s ability to rank on SERPs. While Google does not use DA as a ranking factor, it does want to serve right content to its users. This is where DA matters. If your website is serving the right kind of quality content, it will attract rich backlinks, finally indicating to Google that your website is an authority. This is why improving DA makes sense and getting your content marketing right matters.
And when you create valuable information-rich content, other websites will link to it, and this linking saga has an exponential effect. Your audience can multiply rapidly, and backlinks are one of the major criteria for your website’s SERP rankings.
Simply put, high-quality content + more backlinks = high domain authority.
g. Earns Positive Brand Reputation
Did you know that 78% of customers prefer to learn about a company through its content rather than through advertisements? People appreciate it when you add value to their time without expecting anything in return. Content allows you to connect with your customers, which increases their trust in your brand. Keep in mind that your audience interprets whatever YOU show them—if your content is interesting and useful, customers will associate that with your company.
For them, your brand will come to life, and you’ll be at the top of their subconscious mind the next time they’re ready to buy.
h. Makes You A Subject Matter Expert
Your brand can use content marketing to highlight your competence in your industry. You demonstrate your competence in your profession every time you contribute excellent content in the form of blogs, podcasts, webinars, among others. Customers who make an educated choice based on your content begin to associate you as an industry expert.
Furthermore, when choosing between brands that provide no valuable information and those that do, consumers invariably choose the latter.
i. Valuable to EVERY Industry
If you’re wondering whether content marketing is right for your business or not, let us break it to you – YES! it is.
Content marketing has progressed from a newly formed concept to a full-fledged powerhouse.
This is because content, regardless of the industry, can drive immense traffic to your website. It could be in the domains of fitness and health, real estate, pharmaceuticals, and whatnot.
Right content, presented the right way and under the right conditions, can skyrocket your traffic and sales – which defines content marketing.
And have you witnessed the power of influencers in content marketing? It exemplifies how much awareness content marketing can generate for your sales growth.
Feel you need to understand this better? Here is a great infographic on: Why Should You Invest in Content Marketing and How?
For more details about how content marketing could benefit your business check out our blog: Why content marketing needs to be a priority for your business.
Ch.4: What are the different Types of Content Marketing
You finally know how content is important for your business but choosing a content type is another ball game. You can often find yourself in a fix trying to figure out what type of content and where you want to post it. After all, there are different types of content marketing! Some say five, some 12, and some say even 100!
Don’t believe us? Have a look:
But do you need to create content on so many platforms?
Here’s a simple answer: when you publish content in various formats, you can tap into growing audiences, and it always needs to be in the same vicinity as your audience. For example, a working mom may be too busy to read your blog posts or social media posts, but she can listen to your podcasts on the way home. It is your priority to tap in where you can and steer clear if you think some platforms aren’t for you; this makes it important for you to know your “niche”. Know what your right platform is and where your audience is. If you teach self-defence, it makes no sense for you to do podcasts. Right? Find out the formats that your target audience likes to consume and start working with that.
Let us understand about the four broadest and most popular types of content marketing formats.
1. Written Content
Content (Noun)- Information made available by a website or other electronic medium. Marketing (Noun) – The action or business of promoting and selling products or services. Very basic but still relevant. When you mix the two, the definition is “information that sells products or services”. But that merely scratches the surface. With the right written content, you can engage with your customers and provide value to them. And if you add value, you bring business to the table.
There are many written formats through which you can convey content to your audience.
● Social Media Posts
● Case Studies
According to The State of Content Marketing Report 2019: Global Report, blog content marketing is still the most popular. Infact, marketers who have prioritised blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI, according to Hubspot. Blogs have the power to increase traffic to your website, strengthen your social media presence and even allow users to reach out to you conveniently. And instead of pushing your products on blogs, focus on showing what benefits buyers will receive out of it. Remember, you need to add value and gain their trust.
Also, social media deserves a whole new section which we will discuss further below.
We recommend: 8 Proven Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Blog in 2020
If you want to start something more original: How do you create blogs that are completely original
2. Visual Content
Visual content is on the rise, and the world today is more visual than ever before. Visual content helps companies get higher returns in shares, likes, followers and even revenue. No wonder even companies are getting under the bandwagon of doing their best to ace their visual content on point. Most people prefer to scan through images with relevant information rather than an 800-word blog. The human attention span is just 8 sec long, and images fit well to feed them data quicker.
Since most humans connect with imagery so well, visual content should be one of your core elements in your content approach.
Suggested Content: Visual content formats that can triple your content marketing results.
Audiovisuals have a story to tell. If you want to connect with your audience, there is nothing better than audiovisual content. Podcasts, videos, and webinars are the most widely used platforms for audiovisuals. Simply put, audiovisuals show your brand’s human side to the people.
Sometimes content can seem robotic and unreal; it can make the reader drift from you. But when you sit down and speak to your customers or host podcasts and webinars, it shows that you are a REAL person! You can convey your brand message in a crystal clear voice.
Videos are on fire these days. From Instagram reels to Facebook feed videos, they are almost everywhere!
People love video content, and brands know that you hit the Jackpot when you feed the right video content to the right audience. Video content surpasses every other content. 85% of marketers say that video is an effective way to get attention online. (Animoto) You can grab people’s attention in a short span, and most importantly, you can share video content on various platforms, including (but not limited to) websites, social media, emails and of course, Youtube.
5. Podcasts & Webinars
Podcasts are growing as fast, if not quicker, than videos. When people have a time crunch, they can still fit in a podcast to their schedule. Why Podcasts reports that over 52% of podcast listeners who subscribe to your podcast will listen to every episode! That’s a staggering ratio. But the heart of creating good podcasts is to master the art of storytelling. If you offer an engaging story, you are surely going to keep your listeners hooked. Webinars have done exceptionally well in recent years due to their distinct approach: to easily soft-sell prospects on your services or products without being pushy.
Webinars are used to generate leads, raise brand awareness, and develop relationships with prospects. If webinars are designed properly, they can hold the user’s attention for an extended period- sometimes even hours!
6. Social Media
We live in the digital age, and there is no better way to promote your products and services than through social media. Did you know that Kylie Jenner became a billionaire simply by promoting her products on her social media accounts? That’s how impactful social media is. And on social media, influencer marketing can act as big guns for your business. If influencers have a large following, they can expand your reach to target a new audience.
Moreover, influencer marketing will grow to be worth $13.8 billion in 2021.
Detailed list of different types of content marketing formats available here: A Guide to Choosing from 12 Different Content Marketing Formats in 2023
Ch.5: What Are Some Good Content Marketing Examples?
Now that we are clear on the type of content let us get into some great content marketing examples that can give you a clear picture of campaign creation. We are here to show what makes some content great and some just blah. Many marketers do not know how to leverage content marketing. The first step to creating a successful content marketing campaign is to study the brands that have nailed the game.
We have put together some examples that you can go through. You can dive into studying them like a hawk and duplicating their success.
Fenty Beauty – All For Diversity
Rihanna endorses the Fenty Beauty brand. If you look at their Instagram or Twitter feeds, you will notice that they take DIVERSITY seriously. Few brands were catering to a diverse audience before Fenty. Rihanna simply targeted the right problem, and Fenty sold $100 million in its first 40 days. Fenty uses social media strategically while also connecting with her fans. Rihanna’s experiment with her new product in her bathroom is a prime example. There are no flashy cameras or great editing.
Only her using the product and showing its benefits to the audience.
That’s a great influencer marketing strategy.
The power to connect with your audience is the key. When marketing doesn’t seem rushed or forced, it is the definition of brilliant marketing.
Coke’s “Share A Coke” Campaign
This campaign is one of the most famous campaigns of all time.
This is because Coke’s “Share A Coke” campaign gave a chance to people to personalise their favourite drink! People went gaga over it, and EVERYONE was talking about the campaign. Personalisation was the reason why this campaign succeeded. Through personalisation, Coke was able to make people feel special. To have a coke with your name in it, come on, that’s amazing!
After all, everyone’s favourite person is themselves. So the strategy to use their names as a marketing strategy is brilliant.
McDonald’s Our Food Your Questions Campaign
Another great example of a fast-food giant turning heads with a great marketing strategy is Mcdonald’s
Mcdonald’s Canada decided to take the questions of all the customers and answer them! They answered 10,000 customer queries which showcased one thing: Their transparency, which people loved and trusted the brand even more..
These campaigns show you some key elements to get your campaign to new heights if you employ them.
● Be honest
● Personalise when possible
● Believe in visual content
● Tell a story
Want to know more about content marketing examples: Read here.
Ch.6: What is Content Distribution and How to Market your Content?
Content distribution is the process used to distribute all the content formats you have worked hard to create through various marketing channels. As you promote your content on several different media channels, your content reaches your online audience. Did you know that over five million blogs are published on WordPress every day! Many marketers put their blood and sweat into creating content but forget to market it! Without a distribution plan, your content investment will not yield any results. In fact, marketers should spend 20% of their time creating content and 80% of their time marketing and distributing it on the right channels.
Content distribution channels are divided into three categories: Owned, Earned and Paid.
Owned Media Channels
Just as the name suggests, these channels are assets that are under your control and ownership. You have a complete say on what goes in and out of these channels since you are the owner. Distribution of content across your web assets is called owned media distribution. Whatever you decide is what is final.
Some common “owned content” distribution channel includes (but isn’t limited to):
● Your Blog
● Your Website
● Your Apps
● Your Social Media Pages
● Even Newsletters
Owned media channels are the easiest-to-use distribution channels. What you publish on your own assets will not reach your audience until you alert them about it. It becomes even more necessary to promote your content (published on your owned media) if your website does not have a very high domain authority or is not a brand that has a massive fan following.
Earned Content Channels
When third parties distribute your content, it is called earned content distribution. If social media influencers share your content with their fans through page tags or reviews on their feed, it all accounts for earned content distribution.
For example, you have a company of protein shake powders; if people are promoting the benefits of your protein powder without you having to coerce them, it is earned content distribution- as you earn it. Simply put, earned content distribution is when someone (third party )writes, promotes and distributes your brand on their own media.
Paid Distribution Channels
This are channels which you pay to show your content to your target audience. For eg, suppose you pay Instagram to show your sponsored post – it is paid content distribution. Or even CPC, for that matter, is one of the most common models where the content owner pays a certain amount every time a person clicks a content. The content you post is still yours, but you now rely on distribution channels to share it with others to get more reach.
Sponsored content on social media, PPC advertising, paid influencer posts and guest posts and even social ads are considered paid media content distributions.
This brings us to the most important part – how to ensure your content reaches your audience using the above distribution channels.
Best Ways of Content Distribution
Your content is as good as its distribution plan. Without distribution, there is no point investing hours into creating that wonderful piece of content. So, make sure you have a distribution plan ready before even you start creating your content. Let us look at look at the different ways to distribute your content.
1. Publish content on your website/blog, make sure its optimised, and start building backlinks to it
Backlinks are links gained from external websites to your own content on your own website. Getting these inbound links created to your content/page is like getting a like vote for your content. When there are several backlinks pointing to your page/content, it indicates to Google that your content is good and should be ranked.
Now that you published your new content on your website, you start creating backlinks to it. You will want to earn backlinks from sites that –
– Have a high domain authority
– That carry content that is relevant to your site (You cannot be writing for content marketing and earn a link from say a mobile repair site).
– Give your natural link
Also make sure your content is properly optimised. This means it has the right amount of keywords covered in the article, it has a meta description, it has an SEO friendly URL, it uses LSI keywords, include Schema in your page’s HTML for getting featured in rich snippets and
2. Send out an emailer to your database announcing the new content –
It’s the easiest tool to use here to distribute your content. But do not be lazy about your email content or design. Make sure you give enough explanation about your new blog and what will your audience gain from it. Make sure you are adding an image, graphic or GIF to it. Make sure you are getting the headline interesting and clickworthy.
Remember your emailer/newsletter has more chances of being read than your social media post. So invest in it wisely.
3. Post on social media and then repost it again.
Do not just post your content on social media once and leave it at that. Make sure you take different aspects of the content and create different posts out of it. For eg, you can take the main headlines and create a carousel post, you can make it a short video post, you can create a series of tweets and post it within a span of 24 hours, you could pick up some interesting statistics and use that to act as a teaser for the content.
Make sure you are not posting your content just once and leaving it at that. If you do not have the resources to do the above variety, simply create different captions for your blog and repost it atleast twice after the original post has gone out.
4. Join Social Media Groups, communities and QA forums
There are plenty of platforms you can find to promote your content. Find out which one works for your audience, and try to use those channels. You can start by experimenting with the different platforms and groups and see where your content will get better traction. Not every channel will work for every brand.
Social media groups
Once you have posted your blog on social media, become part of Linked Groups and Facebook Groups that belong to your category and shares same industry news. These groups have great ways to reach out to a niche audience but make sure you are not just part of the group for pushing your content out with a link. Become a part of the discussion and suggest your content as an extension of that discussion.
QA platforms such as Reddit and Quora are immensely popular and have a huge audience. Engaging with communities in these sites have immense benefits for your brand since it will not only drive traffic to your website but also support your SEO efforts through backlinks. Also, you can reach new audiences and build brand authority and credibility. Make sure you are actually engaging with the audience, sharing something of value, and not just blatantly promoting your brand. Some other great channels for content promotion that we often use are Medium, Growth Hackers and Growth Hub.
Its best to join a few, rather than join a large number of groups and spam everywhere. It will also ensure you get banned very soon. Hence best is chose a few, grow your base, engage and interact and share.
5. Content Repurpose and Syndication
Make sure you repurpose your content into slides, videos, infographics and podcasts and publish the same on relevant platforms for each content format. Even if no one reads your content, you are most likely to get some good backlinks.
For example, you have created a great piece of blog. Make sure you take the content and repurpose it into a great video or a webinar and publish it on Youtube. A good video (ofcourse with great content) will ensure you will get a steady stream of visits to your content.
You should try and see which one works for you the best, but make sure you do not give up after writing a great piece of content and letting it sit on the website.
Firstly, send a heads up to all those you have mentioned in the article (incase you have mentioned any marketers or brands). Secondly, try and reach out to all those you have linked to similar articles (try Buzzsumo or Ahrefs to find this data). Thirdly, try to reach out to all those who have published an article mentioning the topic on which you have created your article.
7. Paid Promotion
Every social media channel has its own ad platform. Depending on what your budget is, try and use social media ads to put your content in front of your audience. For eg,
• Video Ads on Facebook
• Carousel Ads on Instagram
• Promoted Pins on Pinterest
• Promoted Tweets on Twitter
• Sponsored Content on LinkedIn
Try simply boosting your posts to your relevant ads on Facebook and see it reach thousands of potential consumers who did not even know that your brand existed. This would easily get you the much-needed traffic on your content piece before you start building backlinks, indicating to Google that your building links naturally. If you have a neat budget, you could also try Taboola and Outbrain for native advertising.
Otherwise, platforms like Reddit and Quu Promote are also great for content promotion and are also cost effective.
8. Guest blogging
The key to this is to find blogs and websites that have large audience and write a great guest post for that audience. Ofcourse, that audience should be worth your time. To get the best results from guest blogging, make sure you find sites that have 30 plus domain rating, have a consistent audience and are in your niche. Then pitch your content idea and begin to collaborate. If you can do this well, this could be a great content distribution channel, helping you increase traffic and brand awareness for your brand. As a plus, you might also get a cool referral traffic to your website.
Here is a detailed guide on the “Complete List of Best Content Distribution Platforms“
Ch.7: What is Content Strategy?
Content strategy is the framework or plan to achieve the business goals that you want to achieve through creating content and marketing it. A business usually wants the following outcomes when it plans to invest in content marketing. It wants to –
● Drive visitors to its website
● Make consumers aware of its brand
● Build and nurture relationships with your audience
● Convert people who visit the website into leads
● Improve SEO results
● Boost revenue
If you want to achieve the above goals, you need a solid content marketing strategy to help you reach those goals.
But how do create a good content strategy? Here are the main steps.
1. Know Your Goals
Setting goals doesn’t need to be over complicated. If your goal is to attract traffic from search engines, focus on that. Your goal can be to build brand awareness, attract more backlinks, become an industry expert, and get more leads for your sales team.
2. Know Your Audience
There are billions of people using the internet, but your goal shouldn’t be to attract everyone and anyone!
Even though it is obvious, it is a mistake many new marketers make. You should always choose to target those people who may be interested in your brand. The best way to find your target audience is to develop a buyer persona- an imaginary person who can represent what your ideal customer is like.
This simple exercise can easily help you grasp who your target audience really is.
3. Choose the Content Type
There are various content types like blogs, case studies, whitepapers, webinars, infographics, videos, slideshows, etc that you can produce. But if you are just starting, it is best to warm your feet on one platform and dive all in. To choose which type of content is best for you, consider the content type your audience consumes. For example, if you do content marketing for a cooking school, it makes sense to choose a visual content type, like videos. Next, think about which content you are comfortable with. If you are camera shy, there is no point in suffering when you switch on the recording button.
Once you decide which is best for you, be consistent and then dive into the new types of content.
4. Find What People Search For
It doesn’t matter if you believe you know what your audience will enjoy or if you have a brilliant idea for the next blog post. If your target audience isn’t looking for it, chances are you’ll lose the organic search game. There are many platforms like Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, Answerthepublic.com and more to find out what content people want to see and what they are actively searching for. Creating content based on what your audience wants is key to an effective content reach.
Some other platforms where you can research and make informed decisions are:
Want to know more about how to choose topics that will drive traffic to your website? Read this blog on content strategy that explains how to choose the most relevant topics.
5. Create A Content Calendar
To create content is easy on Day One, but to create quality content consistently without fail is tricky. Moreover, there should be a yin and yan connection between content quality and the speed of content production. Your goal isn’t just skyrocketing your content while dropping your quality. It’s to maintain a balance between both. To keep all things in check, the content calendar becomes crucial. It keeps the timeframe on track, and you know exactly when your content is ready for publishing.
6. Promote Your Content
Content won’t find its way to people magically. You have to get it in front of the people and ensure that they will notice your content. Here are some easy ways to promote your content :
• Send it to your email list: It’s an old trick, but it sure does work.
• Outreach: Outreaching is a process where journalists or influencers share your content on their platforms. If you can manage to garner their attention- their followers become your resource to you. You can earn links, referrals, traffic your way through outreach.
• Paid Ads: If you want your content to reach audiences, fast paid ads are the best way to go. When you pay Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, they push your content to a greater audience. Plus, these are trackable results, so you have every data from clicks to conversions.
There more ways to do content promotion that you can read here.
7. Monitor Your Results
Lastly, you should know that things in the digital podium do not remain stagnant – they are constantly evolving. So to make sure your content is relevant for years to come, it is crucial to monitor your content. The industry standard to check content on the web is Google Analytics. Similarly, for YouTube, you need to check the YouTube analytics and, for Instagram, their insights. When you monitor your performance, you will know EXACTLY what content works for you. If some content is not, you can dig deeper in finding out why not.
This way, you understand what works and what doesn’t and create a successful content marketing strategy.
See here on how to create a content marketing strategy: 8 main steps to create a content marketing strategy
Ch.8: Tips & Trick to Create a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketers keep a few tricks up their sleeves and boost their strategy to reap success.
Here are some of those tricks to ensure that your content marketing strategy generates excellent ROI:
1. Know Your Audience
Think about it – if you do not know your target audience, whom do you make the content for? You cannot write content until you know your audience. This is why, as previously discussed, creating a buyer persona is critical so that you can create content that speaks to your target audience. After all, content marketing is all about attracting the right audience—the audience will engage and convert as customers after consuming your content.
All of your content marketing efforts will begin to shine once you have a better understanding of your target audience.
2. Make Content For The Reader
From the moment you start creating content relevant to your audience, your priority should be selecting the topics. It should be informative as well as solve their problems. So you have two main objectives: to educate and solve problems. Every content you write should be resourceful and should help the reader. It should solve their questions and make them acquainted with what you have to bring to the table. If you provide rental cars, your content should revolve around helpful blogs about top places to visit, etc.
Once the reader learns that you know a lot about the industry, they will trust you for information and refer you before making any travel plans. It also increases the chances of people enquiring about your services and hiring you.
Both will help you gain trust and, as a result, get you more conversions.
3. Competitor Research Is Key
You have competition, and there is no running from it. Instead of being dazed by it, use it to your advantage. Take your competition as your inspiration. Pick the best competitor of your niche and tap into what they are doing and what strategies they are employing, or how people are responding.
This small key of research is what will steer you higher than the others.
4. Try To Be Distinctive In Your Approach
Even though researching your competition is important, mirroring them is a major NO! Your goal is to provide valuable information to customers and not overly used information available to the customer.
When you find a great idea, try to look for ways to make it your own – give it a little spice. The readers always appreciate a fresh outlook and content.
5. Always Keep a Fresh Mindset
Finally, the last tip would be to keep a fresh mindset and learn new things every day. There are no fixed rules or books to study digital marketing because the digital world is changing every day. This is why learning new skills, new updates and coping up to the latest developments. Every day is a unique opportunity to learn, after all.
You are learning now as you are reading this too!
Ch.9: Content Marketing and SEO: Natural Allies
There is a lot of confusion on how is content marketing and SEO linked together. Both techniques fall under the digital marketing umbrella and both have important but different functions. But why do they make sense together?
The reality is that if you are spending time doing content marketing, without thinking of SEO, then it could be a waste of time. Same thing the other way round. That is because SEO and content marketing are allies and boost each other’s results and work perfectly to drive a successful digital campaign.
So let us understand what is SEO is.
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search engine optimisation is a combination of techniques through which a marketer ensures a particular page or content gets seen by a particular set of people (who is the target audience) when they are searching for something similar. SEO is used to drive the targeted audience to the website of a particular business, which becomes visible to the consumer when it starts ranking.
Through SEO, marketers drive the target audience to the website of the brand/business. This is done by optimising content on each page of the website, using keywords that are likely to be searched by the audience, implementing technical changes to the website and making regular updates to all the webpages.
Connection between Content marketing and SEO
If you want your content to succeed, you need to consider SEO. And the same thing is true, the other way round. Great SEO cannot work without content marketing.
While creating a piece of content you cannot ignore the following –
1. Keywords that will help the search engines to find the content.
2. The best topic ideas that will help your content rank
3. Find what Google loves to see on page 1
4. Create the structure that Google wants to see – enter meta tags, descriptions, URLs, images, etc
5. Optimise of content with keywords
6. Implement Scheme Mark up
7. Create great backlinks
So in short, SEO and content marketing need to work together in order to give your business great results. You need a proper SEO strategy before you even plan your content investments. Without a proper SEO plan, you cannot even think of developing great content since it will not rank on the search engines. If no one reads your content, your content marketing is doomed to fail. That is why SEO should be part of your content marketing strategy.
Follow these 10 TOP CONTENT marketers for great ideas
1. Ann Hadley
2. Joe Pulizzi
3. Neil Patel
4. Kathy Klotz
5. Jayson DeMers
6. Julia McCoy
7. Sujan Patel
8. Joanna Wiebe
9. Stacy Minero
10. Ann Smarty
Ready to start engaging your audience with content marketing?
The beauty of content marketing is that anyone can start using it their advantage. It does take time to see the results. But when it starts, it really gets you the audience you need and the traffic and ROI you need. Its always good to remember that content marketing is a marathon and not a sprint. You get ready for the long haul and you will start seeing a boost in your revenue, growth in your brand awareness and some brand loyalty.
If you are wondering how to get started, go back to the top of this long page and start with building the strategy, understand what kind of content works for your business, get the map ready and then begin your content marketing campaign.
Need to understand how to implement content marketing to boost the health of your business? Talk to our experts